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My math lazy boy six years ago


I discovered today that I have been logging in to comment on blogs for a long time with a profile that connects people to blogs I haven’t updated in years. While I was dismayed by this discovery, I was delighted by another. I found a blog post on homeschooling I don’t remember writing six years ago. Here it is:

I am teaching my 4th grader long division.  Every time I say it’s time for math, he stalls.  “What time is it?”  “Do you need me to watch the younger kids?”  “Aren’t we supposed to be reading now?”

When he does sit down to work, he usually does handwriting instead…on his math page.  He covers his paper with, “I don’t get it.  I need help.  I don’t know.”  I remember learning long division.  It’s the most challenging of the math operations to learn for sure!  But my 4th grader is extremely bright and knows what is required to divide.

When I went over his work with him, explaining again and again what he needed to know, it suddenly occurred to me what the problem was.  I told him that there was a technical term for the struggles he was having.  I wrote it on his paper.  L-a-z-i-n-e-s-s.

He smiled.  He knew I was right.  In order to do long division, you have to guess at the correct answer.  Then you have to check to see if you are right.  If you are not, you have to erase and try again.  And you repeat this process over and over.

How many times in my life have I been like my son?  I’ve said, “I don’t know how to lose weight.  I don’t get how to exercise regularly.  I need help to get organized.”  Yet, like my son, I really didn’t need someone to tell me over and over and over how these things were done.  I knew what needed to be done.  I just didn’t want to try, make a mistake, and start over.  The problem was l-a-z-i-n-e-s-s.  I can smile at that.

Is it time to work on your problems?

The postscript that should make YOU smile is that this math-lazy boy is now in an AP class for Calculus BC as a high school sophomore. There is hope for lazy students and teachers.

Do your children make excuses for not doing their work? Do you ever search the web for more information on doing something you already know how to do? Or am I the only one?

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! Proverbs 6:6


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